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Lib Dem MP welcomes party’s decision to vote for councils to be given the power to increase tax on second homes

March 12, 2018 11:43 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has welcomed the decision taken at the Liberal Democrat spring conference in Southport this weekend to pass a motion which calls for Local Authorities to be given the power to increase council tax on second homes by up to 500%.

Data from the Rural Services Network has estimated that around 7.5% of all properties in South Lakeland are second homes.

To deal with the huge pressures this can put on local communities and services, Liberal Democrats voted to enable local authorities to increase the council tax on second properties by up to 500%, and to give local authorities the power to increase the stamp duty surcharge on additional properties to 5%.

This cash would all go directly to local authorities, so they can invest in much needed affordable housing and local services. It would be for local authorities to determine whether they used one or both of these measures.

Tim said: "High levels of second home ownership can have a hugely detrimental impact on local communities across the country.

"This too often leads to the unacceptable decline and closure of key local services like schools, bus services, shops and Post Offices.

"If we are going to protect our communities from dying out then we need to take some action.

"Allowing councils to significantly increase council tax on second homes, by up to 500% if they wish, is not about penalising second home owners, but about asking them to pay a fair contribution towards those vital local services which are at risk.

"This would provide councils in areas with high second-home ownership with a fair and effective way of raising funds which could be ring-fenced to fund key local services and deliver affordable homes for lower income families.

"It's absolutely vital that we have in place the measures which will keep our communities thriving and ensure that our local communities remain amazing places to live for everyone."